An absolutely beautiful sterling silver antique locket and curb chain necklace. Dating to the Victorian Aesthetic era (1860-1895) the locket is a large size and engraved in superb and distinctly different designs on each side, essentially giving you two lockets in one. The locket opens to reveal a black and white photo portrait of a Victorian lady on one side and a brown satin liner and silver picture ring on the other.
Bursting with Victorian sentiment and romantic symbolism the front of the locket is etched in a Japanese scene with a graceful swallow, grasses and bamboo and the reverse is deeply engraved in a striking fern design. To the Victorians the swallow, a bird that mates for life, was a symbol of everlasting love and loyalty. Likewise the fern symbolised humility and sincerity, as a result these romantically engraved lockets were often given as courtship gifts to sweethearts and brides.
The locket has a very attractive pillowed profile with a large puffy teardrop shaped bail. It suspends from a heavy duty antique sterling silver curb chain. The locket isn't hallmarked and we have acid tested it to verify it is sterling silver. The chain is stamped with a lion passant for sterling on the soldered end rings and marked 'sterling' on the bolt ring clasp.
An absolutely superb Victorian locket necklace bursting in romantic symbolism which is bound to bring endless joy to its new owner! An amusing anecdote surrounds the humble fern and might explain why we might see the plants used so often as a motif in Victorian jewellery. In Britain fern collecting and study became near obsession with females during the mid 1800's which led to doctors coining the medical term "Pteridomania" or fern mania!
MATERIALS: sterling silver throughout
MEASUREMENTS: locket 2-1/4" (6cm) tall, 1-1/2" (3.5cm) wide, 10mm deep, chain length 20" (51cm), width 4.3mm
WEIGHT: total 27.7 grams (locket 14.6 grams, chain 13.1 grams)
DATE: circa 1880, Victorian
MATERIALS: Sterling Silver
CONDITION: in very, very good antique condition with signs of surface wear to be expected from a piece of jewelry this age but no dents or dings, please see the photos. The locket hinge is unworn and the locket closes with a firm click.
At Mercy Madge we curate antique and vintage jewellery that is special and each piece is hand selected by us for you. We rarely come across two identical old treasures, once they are gone, they are truly gone!
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Materials: sterling silver.